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Malaysian driver in crash that killed 8 teenagers on modified bicycles allowed bail to appeal conviction

Malaysian driver in crash that killed 8 teenagers on modified bicycles allowed bail to appeal conviction

Sam Ke Ting, 27, was found guilty of reckless driving by Johor Bahru High Court on Apr 13, 2022. (Photo:Bernama)

PUTRAJAYA: A driver who was sentenced to jail for reckless driving that led to the death of eight teenagers in Johor, has been released on bail pending the hearing of her appeal at the Court of Appeal.

On Monday (Apr 18), a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal, allowed the application by Sam Ke Ting, 27, to stay the execution of the six-year jail sentence and RM6,000 (US$1,400) fine imposed by the High Court.

Bernama reported that the panel also allowed her application for leave to appeal against the decision of the Johor Bahru High Court last week.

On Apr 13, High Court judge Abu Bakar Katar, who meted out the jail sentence and fine on Sam, also ordered her to be jailed for six months if she failed to pay the fine. She is also subject to a three-year driving ban upon completion of her prison term.

Sam, who was 22 years old at the time of the incident was charged with committing the offence of reckless driving. She allegedly crashed into a group of teenagers on modified bicycles at Jalan Lingkaran Dalam, Johor Bahru, at 3.20am on 18 Feb 2017.

The eight teenagers killed in the incident were between the ages of 13 and 16.

The high court judge handed down the decision after allowing the prosecution's appeal to set aside the Magistrate's Court's decision on Oct 10 last year, which acquitted and discharged the woman.

Sam had to spend five days in jail after the judge refused her a stay of execution and bail pending her appeal to the Court of Appeal.

In their decision on Monday, the Court of Appeal led by judge P. Ravinthran, and judges Lee Heng Cheong and Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, allowed Sam to be released with bail of RM10,000 with one surety until her appeal is exhausted.

The court also allowed an application by Sam’s lawyer Muhammad Faizal Mokhtar, to amend the notice of appeal by including a question of law, which is related to the interpretation of law and has to be resolved by a judge.

Mr Muhammad Faizal said the application was made as he had difficulty in obtaining the notes of the High Court proceedings on the case due to time constraints.

According to Bernama, the lawyer believed that there are six legal questions that need to be answered, including whether Sam's unsworn testimony is admissible as an explanation to her defence.

There is also a question of whether there is a burden on her to prove her responsibility to be more careful on the road than the group of cyclists who obstructed the way.

In his submission for stay of execution of the sentence and in appealing for bail, Mr Muhammad Faizal said based on the court record, his client was present at every trial and had no risk of fleeing.

"The applicant (Sam) who worked as a clerk previously was bailed RM10,000 with one surety by the court." he said.

DON’T BLAME THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM: SAM’S LAWYER

Speaking to reporters after the proceedings, Mr Muhammad Faizal said his client advised the public not to debate the case by raising racial issues.

“My client is a person who abides by the rule of law and abides by the court’s decision,” he said.

Mr Muhammad Faizal said his client also expressed disappointment with the action of some quarters in blaming the judicial system over the decision of the Johor Bahru Magistrate's Court in acquitting and discharging her of the charge.

"When we won, they claimed the judicial system is ruined," Bernama quoted him as saying, adding that the case involved a universal issue and not a racial one. 

He said the case concerned human life, but until his client was proven guilty, she could not be imprisoned.

"The accused (Sam) herself understands that the case involves human life and in her testimony in court before, many times she said that she sympathises with the families involved for the loss of their loved ones,” he added.

Source: Agencies/ih(aw)

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